Reaping rates

Gaborone City Council sees big improvement in rates collection

Gaborone City Council (GCC) has confirmed a vast improvement in collection of rates compared to the previous year.

Addressing a full council meeting this week, GCC Mayor, Kagiso Thutlwe revealed the city council total collection stood at P88.7 million by May this year.

The figure comprises P64.5 million of Revenue Support Grant and P23 million categorised as ‘income from own source’.

“Last year this time only P4.2 million was received, while this year P14.6 million was collected during the month of May,” outlined Thutlwe, adding that in total, P20.2 million has been collected from rates in April and May this year.

The Mayor explained the turnaround was largely due to consulting stakeholders.

“Council conducted consultative seminars with Setlhoa Development Consortium on the 5th of April this year and Phakalane plot owners on the 26th of April,” he said, adding the purpose of the two seminars was to discuss issues on the general administration of rates and get feedback from rates payers.

According to the Mayor, during the 2019/2020 financial year a total of P84.7 million was billed from 34, 414 plots.

This marks a substantial drop from the P110.5 million billed in the previous financial period.

Meanwhile, the Mayor expressed regret that the backlog eradication projects funded in 2017/2018 under the Economic Stimulus Programme is still ongoing.

The project includes the construction of three blocks of single story classrooms and 12 two-bedroomed staff houses among others awarded at a tender of P13.7 million.

However, Thutlwe says currently all other components are practically complete except staff houses, which are 80 percent complete.

Additionally, the Mayor said in order to strengthen regulatory framework, management is currently reviewing Outdoor Advertising Guidelines as a way of removing bottlenecks and smoothing the planning process.

He added that the draft report on guidelines and maintenance of hoarding and advertising signs will be presented to council for consideration during the current council sitting.

Similarly, the Mayor noted the Pound Act is under review with the draft still being fine-tuned.

Furthermore, the Gaborone mayor revealed the 2018-2023 strategic plan is in full swing, with the council having committed itself to ensure infrastructure maintenance.

As a result, the council has earmarked a number of facilities for maintenance this financial year, including staff houses for some schools and rehabilitation of water supply pipe reticulation systems in all schools.

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